Holders Hayes & Yeading United progressed to the semi-final of the Middlesex Youth Cup by edging a seven goal thriller at Church Road on Monday in a repeat of last years final.
It was a bad start for the home side as on seven minutes, Wealdstone took the lead when hesitant defending let Jordan Carroll connect with Khalil Zakkour’s throughball and the forward beat the onrushing Luke Daley to open the scoring. But within minutes, Callum Chickah was advancing down the right wing and crossing to the far post for Nicke Kabamba (right) to head in an equaliser.
Immediately, Carroll broke the offside trap again but this time, Daley made a timely block on his shot. The same player beat Daley to Jiordan Scarlett’s lofted pass but the ball rolled wide before he could divert it into the net.
Chickah latched onto George Isaac’s searching throughball but Wealdstone keeper Robert Partington was able to catch his lob. However, as play continued to ebb and flow in a wide open contest, it was Wealdstone who were to get back in front as Carroll dispossessed Chevy Hart before cutting into the area and being brought down by Williams Ude. George Fierstone converted the penalty, although Daley was unfortunate to see it nestle just inside the post after guessing the right way.
It was obvious that there would be more goals in the game and although Isaac hit the post from outside the box following a neat turn, he was soon to equalise after Chickah dispossessed Lamin Jalloh and squared the ball to his teammate right in front of goal. Isaac (left) couldn’t miss.
Just before half time, United took a rather fortuitous lead as Cyrus Longdon-Hughes’s shot looked to be well covered by Partington, only for it to cannon off Kabamba’s back and loop into the opposite corner of the net.
Kabamba had a chance of a hat-trick just after half time after he turned neatly on Isaac’s pass only to shoot right across the face of goal. However, Wealdstone were to enjoy their best spell of the match after that. In the 58th minute, their cause was not helped by Fierstone’s dismissal for a second bookable offence after he’d lunged in on Isaac. Wealdstone didn’t let that deter them and they equalised soon afterwards when Carroll’s low centre was converted by the onrushing Dylan Broderick with a smart finish into the bottom corner.
Such a fast paced, end to end contest was going to take its toll, especially on the team with a man short, and as it entered the closing stages, United gathered momentum to take control. Both Longdon-Hughes and Leo Cunningham both had long range shots which went close, but to no avail. However, some skilful footwork from Isaac on the right wing opened up the Wealdstone defence and his precise pass to the far post found Longdon-Hughes (right) who applied a calm finish into the bottom corner.
Partington prevented the scoreline from flattering United with a timely interception at Isaac’s feet then a block from Longdon-Hughes’s follow up and Ryan Simpson mis-kicked from a good position in front of goal.
Then in stoppage time, Wealdstone came agonisingly close to sending the game into extra time as Bar Hariely fired a goalbound shot beyond Daley only for Hart to position himself on the goal line to clear the ball away and confirm victory for his side at the end of a thoroughly entertaining match.
Report by Nick Bell. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Nicke Kabamba.